Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys:

I am trying to connect my Sunfire TG2 via its RS-232 port to my MacBook. I found an inexpensive cable and some of the codes in the Sunfire manual but don't know what to do with them!

Where can I find a program to input the codes and actually use the Mac as a wired remote?

Eventually, I would like to use an iTouch or iPhone as a remote with iTunes (easy) and to control the Sunfire also (not easy?); any ideas on making the link between the iTouch and Sunfire?

Thanks!

:p
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
To communicate with the Sunfire or any RS232 based equipment you first need an USB to RS232 cable. The Keyspan seems to be the best, but I've used others with varying degrees of angst. Some equipment we deal with for calibration uses specific control applications that work only with specific USB/RS232 interfaces. Your application is probably more or less generic, but try the Keyspan first. http://www.keyspan.com/products/usa19hs/

Next you need a way to send the codes to the device and read the result back from it. The basic way is to use a communications program. This would get you a "dumb terminal" where you type in the code at a command prompt, hit enter, and read the result from your screen. There are several terminal apps, but this "hint" seems to give the best advice:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20061109133825654

Controlling stuff from your screen or iPhone/Touch is a very different problem. There are applications out there that can serve up a remote control screen to your computer, but this will require quite a bit of effort on your part to set up. You can now get "Remote" for the iPhone/Touch as a download from the Apple Store that will let you control iTunes and AppleTV from your iPhone/Touch. We've done this, it works fine. But bridging over to other devices that use either RS232 or IR is a different problem that again requires software that both acts as a server to dish-up the screens you will interact with, and to interpret button presses into IR or RS232 commands. There are at least two applications that do this, but they aren't really made for the novice, more for the experimenter. If you are gear-head enough to want to put the work into this, then you'll also search and find these apps. They do require a full-time computer that is connected to the controlled devices via interface equipment, so laptops wouldn't be appropriate if you take them away.

If you search YouTube, there are some videos of the iPhone controlling HT gear, lighting and security, but not much info on how it was done. This shows us it's possible, but not exactly "drag and drop" or Plug and Play. Probably more like "drag and drop dead" or "plug and play..and play...and play..."

Persistence pays off if you have the time to invest.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
66 Posts
This just in...

I didn't want to include this in the reply above until I had more info. You may have heard about an iPhone app called AirRemote. It is a remote control app that lets your iPhone communicate via WiFi with a Global Cache box, which does the job of a server, translator, and spits out IR commands, as well as interfaces to home automation protocol. The Global Cache is available now, but AirRemote was to be released in July. I still has not been release, which is why I didn't say anything.

I've had contact with Steve Moore, one of the founders. He's explained that AirRemote has received a lot of press in industry trades (I saw it in CEPro and others) and has been covered on Engadget, and a lot of attention at CEDIA UK, but that the company has now had several purchase offers. Until that's done, they are not releasing the product. I had offered to beta test, but apparently, it's well beyond beta, ready to release.

I'm still not sure how user-friendly set-up will be, but you might get a feel by checking out the Global Cache. It's possible right now to write a web app that gets remote control from web pages, and Global Cache is the back-end of that, but not the whole picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks Jaddie:

That looks like a much more elegant home theater solution!

Unfortunately, as you note, the company sale process appears to be slowing down the release of the software. In the mean time, I think a simple replica platform could be created by the technically inclined using the Global Cache box. Very nice indeed!

Also thanks for the detailed first posting...we have been thinking about this problem for a while. We got the RS-232 to USB cable working via HyperTerminal on a Windows XP platform (running on a MacBook) and were trying to do the same on Mac Terminal, but that was not working (your hint link is great). Of course the challenge with HyperTerminal or Mac Terminal is getting the iTouch to control them in a reasonably elegant fashion. Also you need to be running the laptop for the remote to work. A Global Cache box type solution is much nicer...
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top